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Deciphering Dyslexia


Deciphering Dyslexia

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How would you feel if letters and numbers looked like a jumbled puzzle to you, and if your linguistic skills did not allow you to adequately express your frustration? Being unable to read, write, spell or speak fluently is one of the many problems encountered by children diagnosed with dyslexia. Often ignored in the past, this disorder is getting ample attention today, thanks to books and movies!

Dyslexia is a common enough disorder, and one that persists through the lifetime of an individual. Dyslexics face difficulty in reading due to a partial impairment in their mental skills, where their brains are unable to translate images and sounds received through their eyes and ears into understandable symbols. Consequently, they stumble when it comes to letters and numbers, perceiving these in reverse – almost as mirror images.

Dyslexia can be detected early on in children – toddlers may jumble words and phrases and may often forget the names of objects around them. They may also show delayed speech development. Difficulty in clapping rhythmically, an inability to get dressed, wearing shoes on the wrong feet – all these may also point to the disorder. As the child grows older, written work may take a long time to complete, and he may have difficulty in remembering a foreign language. Since dyslexia persists for one’s lifetime, working people may have problems with understanding and remembering elaborate instructions, performing tasks, and meeting deadlines.

Signs to watch out for

Watch out for these common signs and symptoms that could point to dyslexia in your child. While exhibiting one or two of these symptoms does not necessarily mean that your child is dyslexic, it may be time to visit a psychologist.

Dyslexic children:

  • Spend hours procrastinating before they start working and are disorganised when it comes to time management.
  • Keep ‘losing’ their belongings – forgetting where they left their things.
  • Have problems with spatial relationships in and outside the classroom; specifically in dealing with 3-dimensional objects.
  • Have difficulty copying information from the blackboard.
  • Find it difficult to recall information, especially under examination conditions.
  • Show no preference for either the left or the right hand, with neither being dominant.
  • Experience difficulty while playing organised sports and games with fixed rules because they cannot always recall and abide by instructions
  • Are impaired in areas of music and rhythm.

DyslexiaDyslexic children are constantly intimidated by a society that does not really understand and empathise with special needs’ children. Since dyslexic children can be emotionally and physically immature when compared to their peers, they tend to have low levels of self-confidence. Additionally, dyslexia deters oral language processing; dyslexic children cannot always find the right words to express their feelings, often leading to stammering or hesitation when speaking. Not only does this sometimes expose them to the ridicule of other children, it also prevents them from forming close friendships. Add to this their feelings of frustration and anxiety arising from their inability to learn at the same speed as others and to adjust to their surroundings, and what you have is the social isolation of these children.

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